Put the salt into the flour, and work in the shortening thoroughly. Dissolve the yeast in one cupful of warm water. Scald the milk, and dissolve the sugar in it after it is taken off the fire. When the milk is lukewarm, mix the yeast with it. Make a hollow in the center of the flour, and pour into it the milk and yeast mixture. Sprinkle a little of the flour over the top. Cover the pan well, and leave it to rise. If this sponge is set at five o'clock, at ten o'clock stir the whole together thoroughly with a spoon. Do not beat it, but stir it well, as it gets no other kneading. In the morning turn the dough onto a board, work it together a little, and roll it evenly one half inch thick. Lift the dough off the board a little to let it shrink all it will before cutting. Cut it into rounds with a good-sized biscuit-cutter. Place a small piece of butter on one side, and double the other side over it, so the edges meet. Let them rise for two hours, and bake in a quick oven for twenty minutes. If the rolls are to be used for luncheon, cut down the dough in the morning and keep it in a cool place until the time for molding them. If for tea, set the sponge in the morning, using one half cake of compressed yeast.
Place the rolls far enough apart in the pan to give room for them to rise without running together.